The Bees Knees – Big Day Downtown – Part 1 is a team effort. When we were asked to participate in Halifax’s Big Day Downtown, and given $100 to spend at downtown merchants, we decided to see how far $100 could be stretched and try to accomplish as much as possible.

For the first installment of our adventure, Leslie and Sylvia decided on a do-it-yourself

day, for hungry and crafty bloggers on a budget.

Part 1: Pizza-Making – total expenditure: $6

Morris East is one of the best pizza places in Halifax. Its popularity means that there isn’t always a table ready for you, but fear not – we’ve got a solution to your problems. You can buy pizza crust from them and make your own pizza at home! We tried to do this. It worked (kind-of).

Calzoney goodness

Sylvia – We were 100% prepared with delicious toppings, hungry bellies and good intentions. Getting the dough to do what we wanted was a bit tricky. It was a ridiculously warm and humid day so I’m not sure if that makes dough tossing tougher for the average joe or not. The pizza crust and I battled it out and I ended up making a calzone instead of a flat pizza. The result was delicious carby goodness.

Leslie – Well, I won’t be listing ‘pizza-tossing’ on my CV under my marketable skills any time soon. However, I’m a very accomplished pizza eater, and other than the charcoal quality of the bottom of my pizza, it was quite delicious. Apparently Sylvia’s calzone method was more effective and considerably less messy. Next time we’ll be better prepared. But anyway you slice it, $3 for a restaurant-quality pizza crust is a steal of a deal.

Despite a burnt bottom this baby sure looks good!

Helpful hint to those of you embarking on your own pizza making adventure – prepare your pizza on a well greased cookie sheet and slide it off the cookie sheet directly onto the BBQ. Make sure to keep the temperature fairly low to prevent burning.

Be sure to check out the Morris East instructional video before you get started!

Part 2: Craft-Making – total expenditure: $44.08

There are lots of great places downtown for the creatively inclined, but DeSerres on Barrington probably has the best selection of supplies. Since there is a wedding on the horizon for Sylvia, we decided to put our money to semi-practical use and get the necessary tools for some DIY ‘Save the Date’ cards.

Sylvia – Being completely new to wedding crafting, this was a fun undertaking. It’s amazing how many crafting supplies there are geared towards such a day and how incredibly overwhelming it can feel when you have something in mind but can’t seem to find it. Lucky for me my partner in crime kept her eye on the prize and we came up with some awesome ideas!

Craft supplies: $40. A crafternoon with a good friend: priceless.

Leslie – My craft-making skills may not be on par with those of my fellow-bloggers, but I’m always up for a new experience, and what better time to get crafty than during the furious downpours of Hurricane Irene? I didn’t realize how huge DeSerres is inside. You can get any/every kind of crafting tool you can image, except what we were looking for… a nautical themed stamp-kit. Luckily, Sylvia and I are both project managers by trade and well-accustomed to having to adapt our plans on the fly. The staff at DeSerres was very helpful and friendly, and seemed to know precisely where everything was (that’s no small feat in a store of this size). Perhaps the highlight of our in-store experience was when a woman (most certainly a regular customer) pointed us in the direction of the sale items while simultaneously bestowing a collective pet-name on us… “They’re over there, Sweeties.

Sylvia – Once us “sweeties” were armed with the supplies we needed, we hunkered down and got to work. With our stash of craft supplies we came up with the overall layout for the save the dates. We attempted to lay out with words with a previously purchased stamping kit – but this proved to be a very complicated way to get text on the paper. So while we don’t have a finished product yet – we have (among other things) hand-crafted boat and anchor stamps, lots of paint, and some sweet ribbon as a finishing touch. Another stormy day crafternoon will get this project wrapped up.

Leslie – Since we couldn’t find exactly what we wanted, we got extra crafty and crafted our own supplies with which to make crafts. (Did I just blow your mind a little bit?) Making/carving out your own stamps is an extremely satisfying experience, even if they don’t turn out completely professional-looking. Next time I might try something a bit easier (like a star or a heart) instead of going for a boat on my first attempt. But it was a learning experience. And a great way to spend an afternoon!

A huge thank you to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission for letting us be part of Big Day Downtown!

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of our Big Day Downtown when Sarah and Joel take on the city!

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